Out Of The Line Of Fire

Besieged by questions about U.S. intelligence before 9/11 and the war in Iraq, CIA chief George Tenet steps down

On the first floor of CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., below the seventh-floor office of Director George Tenet, there is a hallway lined with signed photo-graphs of all the Presidents who have served since the agency was established in 1947. The inscription from the first of them, Harry Truman, says it all: TO THE CIA, A NECESSITY TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, FROM ONE WHO KNOWS.

More than a half-century later, George W. Bush could sign a picture to the CIA with practically the same sentiment. In the world after 9/11, in which intelligence has an importance like never...